Ancona 1582 testone

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Goldberg sale 81, lot 2421
Papal St G81-2421r.jpg
This specimen was lot 2421 in Goldberg sale 81 (Los Angeles, September 2014), where it sold for $1,997.50. The catalog description[1] noted,
"Italian States - Papal/Roman States. Testone, 1582 (Ancona). Pope Gregory XIII, 1572-1585. Beautifully toned and crisply struck for a late 16th century European silver coin. Lots of eye appeal and a nicely detailed portrait. NGC graded MS-63.

This coin was struck near the end of Gregory XIII's papacy. After the death of Pope Pius V (1566-1572) Ugo Boncompagni (later Gregory XIII) was successfully backed by the Spanish king and many in the church, to become his successor. He was to prove a quick-witted man with great legal and management skills who led a faultless personal life. He increased the power of the papacy and he introduced the Gregorian calendar."

Silver testone are popular with collectors not only for their Catholic associations but also the extraordinarily vivid portraits of the various popes, including Sixtus V (1585-90) shown here. The first papal piastri date from this period; a piastra was three and a half testone.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: silver.

Catalog reference: CNI-78-80; Munt-200-203; Berman-1213.


  • Berman, Allen G., Papal Coins, South Salem, NY: Attic Books, 1991.
  • [1]Goldberg, Ira, Larry Goldberg, Aleeza Brown, Yifu Che, Jason Villareal and Stephen Harvey, Goldberg Sale 81: the Pre-Long Beach Auction, Los Angeles: Goldberg Coins and Collectibles, 2014.

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